M. Soccer: Trio of players make their four-year decisions

File Photo: Armando Ibarra, Jr. is one of three Falcons who will be moving on to four-year schools
File Photo: Armando Ibarra, Jr. is one of three Falcons who will be moving on to four-year schools

Continuing their tradition of sending players to four-year schools, the Cerritos College men's soccer team has announced that three of their players have made decisions on their next destination. Including the three players from this season, the Falcons have sent 88 players to four-year universities in the last 15 years. Cerritos, who finished the season 17-5-1, had only five sophomores on the rosters in 2021.

Those who have made their decisions include midfielder Armando Ibarra, Jr. (Downey HS), forward Alex Rodriguez (Gertz Ressler HS) and defender Kendrick Rivas (Fairfax HS). Ibarra, who shared the state lead in goals this past season with 18, has signed with UC Riverside, while Rodriguez will be transfering to Cal State Los Angeles and Rivas with San Francisco State University.

Although he fought through some nagging injuries during the season, Ibarra came up big for the Falcons multiple times, as the team went 10-1-0 in games that he scored. The South Coast Conference South Division Offensive Player of the Year, Ibarra produced six multiple-goal games, which included seven goals in a three-goal span. He'll be joining a Highlanders team that went 9-7-3 in 2021 and was eliminated from the Big West Tournament on penalty kicks against UC Irvine. He'll also be joining former Falcon teammate Oscar Penate, who shared the team lead for UC Riverside with five goals this season.

Alex Rodriguez will transfer to Cal State LA Kendrick Rivas was a key member of the team's defense As for Rodriguez (pictured, left), who was a member of the Falcons CCCAA State Championship team in 2018, he started 22 games in 2021 and recorded four assists. He was one of the players instrumental in moving the ball through the opposing team's defense with his speed. His four assists all came in wins, which included back-to-back divisional victories over Long Beach City College and El Camino College. Rodriguez will be joining an Eagles team that won the NCAA Division II National Championship and join former teammate Oscar Canela, who was a red-shirt this past season at Cal State LA.

Using his size (6-5, 215 pounds) to supplant opponents from in front of the net, Rivas (pictured, right) was a crucial member of the defense coming off the bench. He was also brought in on offensive corner kicks and drew quite a bit of attention. He appeared in 16 games this season after seeing action in 23 games during his freshman year. In his 39 career games, the team posted a 30-6-3 record and he was an important piece of the team's defensive success. He'll be joining another CCAA conference school with San Francisco State University and will help them try an improve on their 6-9-3 record.